Hawk Love

Red-shouldered hawk, photo taken from upstairs window January 30, 2012

I was outside early on Saturday morning, loading up for my weekly trip to the farmer’s market. My garden visitors, Mr. and Ms. Red-Shouldered Hawk, were already circling, climbing the thermals rising from the pavement as the day began, and calling high-pitched shrieks and melodious replies to each other as they glided against the morning’s pink sky.

Ms. Hawk approved of Mr. Hawk’s proposal. The ceremony was brief. They flew onto one of the tallest branches of the neighbor’s hickory tree, and with myself and my friend Beth as witnesses, ended their courtship and consummated their relationship. (Yes, we really saw them do it!)

Eggs, usually triplets, are incubated for 33 days. Newly fledged hawks should be taking to the skies in another 40 to 45 days. Hopefully, birth announcements will be forthcoming.


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